Supporter story RideLondon 2017 – Claire Taylor

Long-time Beating Bowel Cancer supporter, Macmillan Nurse Consultant Dr. Claire Taylor wanted to give something back by signing up for RideLondon 2017 with friend Caroline Bailes. Together they raised over £1,300.

Why did you want to take part in RideLondon?


I wanted to ride for Beating Bowel Cancer because I have worked with the charity for nearly 20 years. I think they offer fantastic support to patients through their nurse-led helpline, online forum and all the written information they provide on the disease and its treatment. Beating Bowel Cancer has also supported the National Colorectal Cancer Nursing Network, of which I’ve been chair for the last few years. So it felt time to try to give something back!


How was the support from Beating Bowel Cancer before the event?


The support from Beating Bowel Cancer leading up to the event was fantastic. We received a training pack, had the option to join a Facebook group and three training rides were arranged for us. I went in two of these and I would really recommend them for building confidence. One ride was hill training which gave us the opportunity to practise cycling up two of the three big hills on the route. The other training ride I did was in Richmond Park learning how to cycle in groups. The cycling professionals from Viva Velo were really helpful and encouraging, and gave us some handy tips.


How did you train?


It was great to have a friend to train with. With 4 months to go, Caroline and I gave our training plan more focus and gradually increased the distances we cycled each week to build stamina until we were able to cycle 85 miles. We both did other sports in between to increase our overall fitness as well. We also entered several sportives to add some variety to the cycle routes and prepare ourselves for cycling in larger sports events.


How was the event day?


I absolutely loved the ride. It was a long day though; we got up at 04.30 and didn’t get home until 9 at night. We had 07.45 start time but you have to be there at least an hour before and you can’t get near the park on public transport. So we drove an hour into London by car and parked at one of the designated car parks. We then cycled the ten miles from the Barbican to the start line.


There was a fantastic atmosphere in the pens as you waited to go and the time passed quickly as they played music and people were chatting.


It was exhilarating cycling through London and out into the gorgeous countryside. One of my best friends and her husband made a fantastic effort to appear at three points along the course to offer refreshments; they had both cycled RideLondon 100 and knew how nice it was to see a friendly face along the way. We cycled our fastest pace in the last 20 miles and we finished in just over 6 hours, which we were pleased about!


We had a super welcome from Beating Bowel cancer with a special reception after we had finished. We were given hot food, drinks and a massage. The warm welcome was really appreciated – so much so that we didn’t want to cycle back to the car!


A particularly nice touch by the charity was that after the race we received a certificate and laminated photo of us both cycling past the finish line. We were both really touched by this kind gesture.


What did you like best about the ride?

Getting the hills out of the way as you then knew you had about 30 miles of nice cycling!


What’s next?

I’ve entered the ballot this year so we shall see if I get in! I would really recommend Beating Bowel cancer as a charity to ride and raise money for. You really feel that what you are doing matters to them.